The Importance of Getting a Home Inspection
First-time buyers will most likely be taking on a substantial mortgage loan to purchase their first home. While regular maintenance and necessary upgrades will occur during the lifetime of owning a home, there can be existing structural and cosmetic issues that can be costly to repair. One way to know whether a potential home requires major work is for buyers to schedule a home inspection.
Home inspections can provide invaluable information to potential buyers, such as whether you will need flood insurance. While a home inspection is not always mandatory, it can be an asset and help level the playing field between the buyer and seller.
The Purpose of a Home Inspection
The evaluation of a home will provide the buyer with information about possible red flags and the general condition of the home. While some repairs may be relatively minor, others can require extensive renovation.
A lending institution may require a home inspection from their borrower. In some states and in certain conditions, such as with a cash buyer, a person may choose to skip a home inspection. This may be done in a seller's market and when there are multiple offers on the home.
What Is on the Report?
A detailed report will generally cover the state of the home's:
- Heating system
Professional inspectors do not all work the same. Some may choose to also provide photos as part of their documentation. Minor cosmetic concerns may also be added to the list. It is suggested that a buyer talks with the inspector to prioritize any issues documented.
The Expense of a Home Inspection
When considering how much it is to buy and close on a home, the home inspection is not particularly expensive. It may be a few hundred dollars to pay for a home inspection. This fee becomes minimal when compared to the types of expenses that may be incurred with a home having serious structural issues.
There are silver linings for potential buyers. Most contracts of the sale of a home will be made to be contingent on the home inspection. If a potential buyer finds out information indicating structural issues or other expensive problems through the process of a home inspection, they may choose to back out of the agreement without repercussions. Another advantage is that a seller may be asked to remedy bigger issues before the sale of a home. If they cannot do so, a potential buyer may negotiate a lower offer price, as they would then assume the responsibility of necessary repairs or upgrades. In such situations, having a thorough home inspection may end up saving a buyer thousands of dollars.
The Home Buying Process
Buyers generally benefit from a home inspection. Those choosing to work with a lender may find this a mandatory part of the home buying process, but it does provide a level of security for the buyer and lender.
First-time buyers may want to better understand what is involved in a home inspection and how to negotiate with a seller when necessary. Teaming up with an experienced agent can help those who want to make the most from their home inspection and work out a better offer with a seller.